Sunday, August 25, 2019

Kenji Bunch

Kenji Bunch is recognized as one of the most prominent, prolific, and unique American composers of his generation, whose music has been performed by over fifty orchestras, has reached audiences in premiere venues on six continents, and has been recorded on numerous labels worldwide.

Mr. Bunch maintains an active career as a violist, and is widely recognized for performing his own groundbreaking works for viola, which he recently recorded for his acclaimed solo debut CD, Unleashed!

A multi-faceted musician with a deep interest in vernacular American music traditions and improvisation, he also plays bluegrass fiddle, sings, and is a frequent collaborator with many prominent rock, jazz, folk, and experimental artists.


Mr. Bunch graduated from The Juilliard School with degrees in both viola and composition. He later served on the Juilliard Pre-College faculty for twelve years. In 2013, he returned to his native Portland, Oregon with his wife, pianist Monica Ohuchi, their daughter Emmaline, and rescued pit-bull mix Coffee.

Representative WorksSupermaximum for Orchestra and Dies Irie for piano trio

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Oregon Connection: I am an Oregon native, born in Portland in 1973. I graduated from Wilson High School in 1991. I was a violist in the Portland Youth Philharmonic from 1986-1991. Violin/ viola studies with Harry Katzman, Raphael Spiro, Pierre d'Archambeau; piano with Kathleen MacMullen, Harold Gray.

My compositions have been performed by Oregon based musicians including Fear No Music, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Chamber Music Northwest, Chintimini Music Festival, Corvallis Youth Symphony, and the Oregon Woodwind Quintet.

After 22 years in New York City, I returned to Portland in 2013, and am currently interim director of Fear No Music's Young Composers Project, viola instructor at Reed College, and on the music theory faculty of the Portland Youth Philharmonic.